Windows 8.1 checking for updates continuously, without any error or successful message.

This can occur most likely after the KB3173424 update.

It looks as if it is connecting to the internet with rolling balls or progress symbol.

You might leave the PC for the night, expecting to take time.

I tried to do it several days but still Windows 8.1 update not working.

Though this is not a specific error of Windows Updates, it has something to do with particular KB updates.

It can be frustrating when your Windows 8.1 gets stuck checking for updates and won’t progress any further.

Luckily, there are several ways you can get your updates unstuck so your computer can function properly again.

The culprits are KB3173424 and KB3172614.

You might have tried different troubleshooting steps.

Using the default Windows Update troubleshooting tool from Control Panel.

In this guide, we’ll show you the most effective methods for fixing Windows 8.1 stuck on checking for updates.

How to Fix Windows 8.1 Update Stuck on Checking for Updates

In the next step you can stop the “services” related to Windows Update and restart them.


These include the following.
1. Background Intelligent Transfer Service
2. Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
3. Windows Firewall
4. Windows Update
5. Network Connections

Most of the times this will not solve the problem.

You might also have freshly installed Windows 8.1, which again has no result.

It will also eat up your CPU resources, making your computer slow.

The problem lies in the two KB updates mentioned before.

Read common problems and errors you face in Windows 10 and Office 365.

Fix #1

You can do the following to fix “Check for Updates” is continuously running and is stuck.
1. First stop the Windows Update service using Task Manager.
2. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open it.
3. Go to Services tab.
4. Stop the “wuauserv” service.
5. Block or Pause or Stop your Internet connection.

Fix #2

Now the crucial steps for the Windows 8/8.1 updates continuously checking error.
1. Press the Win key and type a few characters like “Control”.
2. Click on the Control Panel from the search results.
3. View by “Small icons“.
4. Click on “Windows Update” > Change Settings
5. Under “Important Updates” click on “Never check for updates (not recommended)“.

This will basically stop your Windows Update service from connecting to the internet.

Fix #3

Now you need to download and install the two KB updates manually from the below links.

1. Download KB3173424 Update for Windows 8.1 (32 bit) 

2. Download KB3173424 Update for Windows 8.1 (64-bit or x64)

3. Download KB3172614 Update for Windows 8.1 (32-bit or x86)

4. Download KB3172614 Update for Windows 8.1 (64-bit or x64)

The Windows8.1-KB3172614-x86 file is of size 51 MB and Windows8.1-KB3173424-x86 of 5 MB.

Note: PS: You might need to download and install following 2 prerequisites before installing “KB3172614” update in your computer:

After downloading and installing the updates, restart your computer.


Fix #4.

Now restore the Internet connection.

Change the “Windows Update” settings in Control Panel to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” using the option mentioned before.


Now click on “Check for updates“.

Depending upon your ISP speed and CPU, RAM it will take some time.

For my Intel Core 2 Duo PC, 8GB DDR3 RAM and 6Mbps connection, it took roughly 20 minutes to show the update results.

Windows 8 Stuck on Checking for Updates

From the Administrative command prompt (clean up any errors)

Run sfc /scannow
Run dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /RestoreHealth

Reset the Windows update process

  • Start services.msc (or Open Task Manager and click on Services), locate the Windows Update service (wuauserv).
  • STOP the service
Open %windir%\SoftwareDistribution


For example,  C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete all the files in that folder (it may prompt you for administrative access, click Ok.

  • Start the Windows Update Service through the Services manager
  • Reset Windows Update Settings
  1. Open the Windows Update window, click on Change Settings.
  2. Set Windows to NEVER check for updates, click Ok.
  3. Open Change Settings again.
  4. Select the option you want (check and download, automatically update)
  5. Click OK.
  6. Now check for updates.

Fix #6 – Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows includes a built-in troubleshooting tool specifically for update issues. This automated tool checks for problems and attempts to fix them for you. To run it, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Select the “Windows Update” option and click Run. The troubleshooter will analyze your system and attempt to resolve any issues found.

Fix #7 – Reset the Windows Update Components

Resetting the Windows Update components can help resolve corrupted files or settings related to the update service. To do this, open Command Prompt as admin and run these commands:

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc 
net stop bits
net stop msiserver

Renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder:

ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

Restarting the Windows Update services:

net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver

Fix #8 – Temporarily Disable Antivirus

Sometimes your antivirus can conflict with updates. Try disabling your antivirus temporarily while checking for updates. Remember to re-enable it afterwards.

Fix #9 – Clear the Update Cache

Clearing the cached update files can also help fix problems. To do this, delete everything in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.


With the troubleshooter, resetting components, antivirus exclusion and clearing the cache, you should be able to get past Windows 8.1 stuck checking for updates. Let us know in the comments if you found these solutions helpful!

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  1. This worked for me in Nov. 2019. I had just reinstalled windows 8.1 pro and my machine stopped updating for one month so I thought something was wrong. I installed the two updates. The first took a long time to install but I also did it when I was connected to the internet. The second installed right away. Then when I rebooted my machine it and did windows update i had 79 new updates available!

    1. Palla Sridhar says:

      @Milek: Glad the fix worked for you.

  2. Dan Gerber says:

    Kudos.. Attempted a ton of fixes. This one is definitely the charm. Thanks for the generosity and sharing the knowledge. Thank you .. Thank you!!!!

  3. You legend, this has been doing my head in for a week but your solution worked like a charm. Cheers dude!